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Witnesses of Jehovah
The Witness at
The Witness Goes Out
(JW Child custody cases)
A response to letters we get on a regular basis.
K. MacGregor-- MM Outreach. Oct.03.
One of the saddest things we deal with is the destruction of so many families by the Watchtower Society organization. Lately we seem to be getting more and more contacts with people just like yourself.
If you browse through this article and still have questions we have not covered please write back to us. We would love to answer each person individually but time limits everything. We may raise raise several unanswered questions for you in this letter, if so let us know and please fill us in on the details when you write back. When writing back, please let us know, was he / she raised a Jehovah Witness or just recently involved. What are the age of the kids if any?
Following are several scenarios and points people usually first ask and our reply:
1. My mate has started studying with the Jehovah Witnesses, What do I do? I don't want to be part of this religion and I don't want my kids involved. We are having problems at home over this issue, he/she wants a divorce and custody of the kids if I won't join the organization.
2. I have left the organization or was disfellowshiped, but my family or kids are still involved, they won't have anything to do with me. I am not allowed to see my grandchildren. I don't know if I should return or not... I don't know what is right anymore.....
Now here is what you are up against. It could be either mate although usually it is the wife that gets involved, sometimes without the husband knowing anything about it.
Thanks for the note and sharing your concerns and "problem". First I want to rejoice with you that you are out of the organization or have never been involved.
Over the past 27 years we have heard from hundreds of people going through all kinds of horrible situations caused by someone, a family member, usually a mate or child getting involved with the Watchtower Society (Jehovah Witnesses). This article will try to cover many of the issues you are going through and will let you in on some you might well experience in the future when dealing with people caught up in this organization.
Here is what you are up against.....
Your mate (friend or child) is now involved in a very dangerous mind control cult group. They are not thinking for themselves any more. The Jehovah Witness elders are doing their thinking for them and telling them what to say and do. If once involved yourself, recognize the fact that you were, for a time, part of a dangerous mind control cult group. It may also be your family is still very much involved as well.
After dealing with hundreds of victims there is no easier way to say this.
Your family, I am sure, are good honest people at heart but are victims themselves. They are not thinking for themselves and they are only doing and saying the bidding of the Watchtower organization Please don't feel like you're the only one in this situation. There are about 50 million victims in North America conned into cult groups of one kind or another. (This is mental brainwashing in the extreme)
As you have noticed your mate or family is not communicating with you because you are not conforming to the organization's rules. The Watchtower teaches shunning to keep people in line. Because of these rules, Jehovah's Witnesses know what will happen if they ever want to leave the group, broken family and friend, relationships etc. Then if one does leave or gets disfellowshiped the only way to restore friendships and families is to toe the Watchtower party line. This practice of shunning draws people back under the organization's control.
How to help your family see the danger they are in.... You may be too close to them at the moment, remember they are constantly being told how evil the world is, anyone leaving the organization is an apostate, Armageddon is coming any day now, if you don't remain in the organization you have no hope of salvation etc. etc. If I talk to an apostate I might not make it, God will destroy me etc.....they are living under total fear, have I done enough, given enough, got enough hours in? They have no peace and no assurance for anything in their life.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that they are able to think for themselves, but in reality the thinking has already been done by their organization. They are expected to support and defend the Watchtower organization and their teachings regardless of any past or future changes. Defending these teachings may be at the expense of your marriage or even at the cost of a loved one's life.
If you are a Christian: Keep in mind that Jehovah's Witnesses use Christian terminology but give everything different meanings than you have as a Christian. This is why you can't seem to get through to them with Christian logic.
They believe and teach all other religions are of the devil and their members have no eternal hope. Your loved one has been told there will be opposition to them becoming a Jehovah's Witnesses. This opposition, they are told, will likely come from friends and family. (This means YOU) They are told this is Satan trying to keep them away from God. Any opposition you make to the organization in their minds proves the Watchtower right. They are also told all printed or internet publications critical of the Watchtower are evil and reading them is the same as reading pornography.
The Witness will believe that they have examined thoroughly, their new found religion in the light of the scriptures. They believe that they have examined the history of the Watchtower, when in fact, their examination is only offered from the standpoint of the Watchtowers publications.
The Witness also believes that they have
a thorough understanding of orthodox or historic
Christianity. They believe they have "debunked" Christian
doctrine such as the Trinity, the immortal soul etc. In
actuality, the Witness knows next to nothing about these
doctrines or the biblical foundation for them. They only
know what the Watchtower has told them that Christians
If you are NOT a Christian believer, or not sure, be aware what you are up against. It is a serious spiritual battle for your mate's and children's spiritual future. On our web site read "Beware of the Watchtower". This article will give you an insight into what is in store for your family if they became a Jehovah Witness.
If this is your mate's first contact with Jehovah's Witnesses, then time is of the essence. The longer you wait to confront your mate, the less control they will have over their decision making faculties. Ideally, you want to broach the subject almost immediately - after the first couple of visits. This does not mean you should rush in unprepared. You MUST prepare yourself in order to help your mate, but the sooner you do so the better. At the very outset, the mind-control is not yet a factor. This is the best time for intervention. This is the time to show your spouse the truth about the Jehovah Witnesses.
After weeks and months of association with the Witnesses, you are now dealing with a person who has been instructed not to think for them self, who has been taught to trust the Organization implicitly, who believes the world is 'out to get them', who believes that people will tell them lies about the Organization, who believes that even their own family members may be used by the devil to try to get them to leave or not join the "true religion".
If your mate was raised a Jehovah's Witnesses they have been trained since a child that for someone to leave the Watchtower organization, it is the same as leaving God himself. If they were baptized a Jehovah's Witnesses and left they know their family and all their Jehovah's Witnesses friends would consider them dead and never speak to them again. To have a relationship once again with their family and friends they will have to return to the organization even if this means a divorce.
The Jehovah's Witnesses use this practice to keep people in line and force one back into the fold if they have left or drifted away. This method of control is said to be in the erring one's best interest. It is said to be a "loving arrangement" to keep the congregation clean. Scripture is quoted to support this arrangement such as Hebrews 12:6 "For whom Jehovah loves he disciplines; in fact, he scourges every one who he receives as a son."
Anyone who breaks the rules of the Organization is deserving of this discipline.
In any case, the Watchtower has told them that both they and their children have no hope of surviving Armageddon if they and their children are not part of the organization. Since the Watchtower has taught them to believe that Armageddon is coming at any moment, this causes them a lot of fear and pressure to remain in good standing with the Society. The elders will be telling them to dump you (or their teenage child) if you won't join the organization.
After that they will be encouraged to marry some Jehovah's Witness at the Kingdom Hall. In their minds, it is their only hope for salvation for themselves and the kids. You must also be aware that kids from ages 4-5 & up will be told by the Jehovah Witness mate that Armageddon is coming soon and unless they are in the Jehovah Witness faith they will die. They will be assured that if daddy doesn't come along with the family to the meetings he will die as well.
They will literally teach the kids to
"hate" the non-Jehovah Witness mate. This prepares them to
become a good future witness if there is ever a custody
battle. The child will insist because of fear of dying at
Armageddon that they want to go with the Jehovah Witness
parent. The mate and your children will live under total
fear of God, Armageddon and the organization.
Check these "WT quotes for the JW instructions on who and what to "hate".
For them to remain married to a non-Jehovah Witness who is against the Society, in their mind this would be rejecting God, God's organization (the Watchtower Society), and hope of salvation for their children.
They have been taught to view Jehovah God as their heavenly "father" and the organization as their "mother". To disobey "mother" will get father angry with you and you may lose any hope of surviving Armageddon and living on into "paradise" earth.
The article, "The Watchtower Fairytale" following this letter or on our web will give you a layman's overview of Watchtower theology.
There are very few "happy" Jehovah's Witnesses. It is difficult to be really happy when they can never know for sure if they have been good enough to merit God's approval. The Watchtower puts pressure on them to attend all the meetings, (5 per week) and put in at least a minimum amount of time peddling their books etc. yet there is never any assurance that they have done enough to have earned their "salvation" Watchtower style.
If there are children: A few things we need to know, the age of the kids, and if you get custody of them can you handle them properly on your own? Do you want your mate back (can you two make things work) if they were free of the Jehovah's Witnesses influence?
Now there are several things you can do. If the marriage was falling apart before their involvement then major repairs have to be made besides the Jehovah's Witnesses problem.
First recognize your mate needs help just the same as if they had a serious medical problem. The problem your mate has is spiritual and psychological as there is mind control involved.
2. The kids need both parents in their lives.
3. You should get a couple of our documentary videos dealing with the Watchtower. "JW's a non Prophet Organization" & "Witnesses of Jehovah" and insist they watch them with you before you ever consider going to any court date or signing anything. (you might insist that a Jehovah's Witness elder or the person they are studying with watch them with you both and tell you all if it is true or not. If it is not true, they should show you where it is not true. Unfortunately it is unlikely an elder would agree to do so because if they viewed this material themselves they could expect to be disfellowshiped themselves. The reaction of the Jehovah's Witness elder might be good for your spouse to see perhaps. After all, if you have the truth it is strong enough to stand the test. Only error runs and hides.
4. Be sure they are aware of the massive pedophile problem in the Watchtower organization. (you don't want your kids exposed to it)
See www.silentlambs.org for info.
5. You might insist on a visit by a Jehovah's Witness elder, ask him in front of your mate if the Watchtower promotes divorce. He will have to say no.
Ask if there is a problem in a marriage should the couple try and work things out. He will answer yes.
Ask him if the husband is the head of the house. He will have to say yes.
Tell him you are going through problems with your mate over their involvement with the organization Tell him until both of you can agree on your spiritual direction for your family that you do not want any interference or influence from him or any Jehovah's Witnesses. Tell him that you want time to examine the history and teachings of the organization and compare them with other faiths (Is this not a good thing to do? ) The Watchtower says it is. And you might add that if there is any Jehovah's Witnesses influence in our family life while you work things out you will hold them personally legally and financially accountable .
Ask the elder, in your mates presence, if spiritual abuse is grounds for legal separation.
Ask him to tell you If being a Christian, but not believing in the Watchtower teachings, constitutes "spiritual abuse?"
6. Make your mate aware of the controversy over their teachings on "blood". It may mean life and death for you and your kids. browse this web http://www.ajwrb.org for more details.
Older kids who have been exposed to the Jehovah's Witnesses teachings may already be carrying "NO BLOOD" cards that you are unaware of. We have heard of one with the next of kin listed as a Jehovah Witness elder and not the natural non Jehovah Witness parent.
What would YOUR mate do if you had a serious need for blood and unconscious, even if you were not a Jehovah Witness? Would they refuse a transfusion for you as next of kin? This is certainly something to think about. It could be life or death for YOU.
7. It may be wise to approach your family doctor and school authorities and other non-JW members of your family and make sure they are aware of your position on the blood issue. Emergencies can happen quickly and you may be out of reach until it is too late. Make sure others know your wishes and have them on record.
Keep in mind in the Jehovah Witness mentality women are second rate in the family pecking order. The husband in Jehovah's Witnesses thinking "owns" the wife and he makes all the spiritual decisions for the family. A Christian married to a Jehovah Witness is in literally one "hell" of a situation. (Read our mail) It just won't work even if the Jehovah's Witness doesn't go to meetings etc. You have nothing spiritual in common and the marriage is almost certain to fail if there are kids.
The Jehovah's Witnesses will want the kids raised as Jehovah's Witnesses and teach them all of the Society's peculiar doctrines behind your back. The Watchtower instructs their followers to do everything they can to indoctrinate their children with or without the other spouse's permission.
I don't want to sound totally negative, these are good people who have been conned by a very clever cult group. They are victims, they need help and they need Jesus in their life. When you are talking with them don't criticize the Watchtower Organization, always be a friend, try and do fun things together, and for the moment avoid the "religion" issue if possible. When they bring up the religion question up always be ready to ask questions that will have them arguing with the bible and the organization and not you. A good book to read for questions is by Ron Rhodes "Reasoning From the Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses".
Let them try and explain the Watchtower double talk. They believe they are the "teacher" and you are the student (the dummy) who must learn from them . Browse through our web, most of the "hot" Jehovah Witness topics are covered there. www.macgregorministries.org. Listen to some of the audio files as well by former victims, they will give you ideas to help your mate. http://www.jwinfoline.com and http://www.mmoutreach.org/ Be sure and read the "Beware of the Watchtower" article on our web so you will know what life is like as a Jehovah Witness and for your kids, also read "Fractured Families".
When or if things get ugly: Be aware that they will say anything regardless whether it is true or not in order to get their way. They may even charge you with all kinds of nasty things that you can't defend yourself against and may even come up with "witnesses" who say they saw you do things to the kids etc. On our web in the "Where did they say that" files look up "TRUTH". They have no problem lying under oath in a court case. The courts and governments are considered part of Satan's organization which gives them the justification to lie to the judicial system.
You are dealing with a very evil mind control group who have unlimited funds to support your mate in a court case for custody of the kids. They will go to any means to have their way. Husbands have come home from work and their families have been moved away during the day without any notice. You won't be told where. Kids have been shuttled across state lines and put up with other Jehovah Witness families and you will never know where. They could even end up out of the country. Police are reluctant to get involved in family disputes and the courts try to shy away from these "religious" issues.
If you do get into a legal custody battle they will if necessary pay your mate's legal bills and stall court cases for years to break you financially. Be aware most lawyers have never dealt with serious "religious" custody cases. Be sure your lawyer understands the problems and has a copy of our video "Battling over the Children" and the supporting documentation. Without these he will be blind sided by their tactics. http://www.macgregorministries.orgjw_lawyers.html (half of all religious custody cases in the US are involving Jehovah Witnesses)
To help you so you can help the others still left in the Watchtower organization, you have to get the Watchtower's warped theology sorted out. Please go to our "Audio" web page and listen to my wife is testimony " (Lorri's) 15 years a Jehovah Witness. Then listen to some of the other testimonies from other victims on the web. If you don't have a high speed hookup let me know (send us your PO address) and I will send you a mp3 CD with over 60 hours of testimonies and teachings from other victims and what they found out as they came free. On our web are articles covering most all of the "hot" Jehovah Witness topics.
Now when you are dealing with your parent (or the one involved), at this point in time DO NOT criticize the Jehovah's Witnesses organization or their teachings. DO NOT even talk about "religion" just be a friend, do fun things together if possible. If they bring up a religious topic be ready to ask questions, bite your tongue, smile , ... could you explain this for me.... pick a topic from our web like the "Christ came back in 1874", "Michael" , Could Jesus be "a god".
Remember they think they are the teacher and you are the student. What you want to try and do is have them argue with the bible and the organization and not you. Be familiar with the Jehovah Witness pedophile problem www.silentlambs.org also the "blood" issue see http://www.ajwrb.org This is an important one if you ever had a problem and the Jehovah Witness parent was in charge of arranging medical care for child.
Be sure and browse the "Where did they say that" folder on our web. Read the "Opening a Closed Mind" article for ideas and "The Watchtower Fairytale". For excellent documentation on JW history and research information visit www.freeminds.org.
................. A family member or friend seems to be moving away from the Jehovah Witness control, they are coming to a family gathering for a visit, my Jehovah Witness child is coming home for a visit... we have had serious clashes over their involvement with the organization in the past... what should I do or say?
Each person is different but we all appreciate love and kindness and respond to it. First be a friend, make them welcome, like a relative who has been away on a long trip, Give them lots of TLC, do fun things. Say nothing about their involvement with the cult or anything critical of the Watchtower organization that they might want to defend. Warn any others they might be in contact with to keep off the topic for the moment. In the beginning avoid any religious topic unless they bring it up. Sooner or later they will raise the topic about something religious.
At this time be prepared, don't get drawn into discussions that will have you arguing with them. If you are not sure of the topic they bring up tell them you want to think about it and will get back to them with your thoughts. Be always prepared to ask questions, ones that will get them thinking about and questioning the organization's authority over their life. Bring up questions that will force them to make a choice between the Bible and the Watchtower organization Have them argue with these two authorities not you.
You (the student in their mind) can ask innocent questions.... "can you explain this for me?" ....... lead them into topics they haven't got answers for. Just happen to have one of our documentary videos on hand..... "would you watch this with me and tell me if it ís correct or not, I really want to know" .....smile...
Sometimes you might have to bite your tongue but with a little extra TLC you can get them thinking for themselves again. Don't try and rush things, play it cool, no Pentecostal type prayers that will scare them off. They need time and space to sort things out, they don't need anyone telling them they were nuts to get involved in the organization in the first place. Remember they have been told all other religions are of the devil, until they are ready don't invite them to "church" type meetings. If possible have get together with well balanced Christians and introduce them to real Christian fellowship and study groups.
When you digest some of this and have more questions get back to us. Fill us in on a few more details, What part of the country are you in? We may have contacts close by.
Most all of the "hot" Jehovah Witness topics are covered on our web. http://www.macgregorministries.org Any questions or if you get hung up on a point please get back to us.
The Watchtower Reprints, July 1879, p. 8-9
"A truth presented by Satan himself is just as true as a truth stated by God."
The Watchtower, May 1, 1957, p. 285
"Did she tell a lie? No, she did not. She was not a liar. Rather, she was using theocratic war strategy, hiding the truth by action and word for the sake of the ministry."
The Watchtower, June 1, 1960, p. 352
"There is one exception, however, that the Christian must ever bear in mind. As a soldier of Christ he is in theocratic warfare and he must exercise added caution when dealing with God's foes. Thus the Scriptures show that for the purpose of protecting the interests of God's cause, it is proper to hide the truth from God's enemies."
Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971 ed., p. 1060
"Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth and doing so with the intent to deceive or to injure him or another person"
Aid to Bible Understanding, 1971 ed., p. 1061
"While malicious lying is definitely condemned in the Bible, this does not mean that a person is under obligation to divulge truthful information to people who are not entitled to it."
Around the world every day there are thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses calling on homes or standing on street corners offering their magazines and books. Who are these people, what is the message they bring? Is it Christian?
If one gets into a discussion with them one finds they seem to have a knowledge of the Bible, and an answer for everything . They will even bring up points you may agree with, but is there something wrong?
Most Bible-believing Christians have a reasonable view of the overall Bible message, knowing Christ came to save them. Even many nonbelievers have some knowledge of the Biblical message. But what about these JW's at the door, do they not come with the "Christian" gospel message or do they have another gospel? What do they really believe? Where did they come from, and should one take them seriously and get involved in a "bible?" study with them?
Lets have an overall look at their peculiar gospel:
In the mid 1800's the Seventh-day Adventist message, focusing on Christ's imminent second coming, was being proclaimed. From within that movement Charles T. Russell and N.H. Barbor were printing articles together proclaiming the date of the Lord's return. In the early 1870's they came to a parting of the ways when Russell insisted that he knew that Christ was coming back in 1874, and Barbor chose another date.
Russell, a small town merchant in his mid 20's, set out to inform the world of his new light on when Jesus would return. With some experience in the writing and printing business, he set in motion what would become today's "Watchtower Bible and Tract Society," known also as Jehovah's Witnesses (JW's). In the early days, his messages were a mix of orthodox Christianity, SDA teachings and then his own "new light" he supposedly gleaned from the Bible. Since then the movement has had many changes, and every scriptural "new light" they receive brings more changes, and a further moving away from Biblical truth.
What do they really believe? A study of their printed materials reveals a strange interpretation of the Bible. Many JW's have never thought through what they actually believe. So you know, and can share with them in simple logic, let's look at the JW message.
The one GOD, who lives in heaven somewhere near the planet Paladies is known to them by the name "Jehovah". At a point in time, Jehovah created a "secondary" god known in the heavens as the Archangel Michael. He was also know as "Jesus", when he came to earth. This god /Archangel Michael was responsible under Jehovah's direction to create everything else in the universe.
When the baby Jesus was to be born on earth the "life force" (whatever that is) was transferred to the baby Jesus and Michael ceased to exist. This JW Jesus grew up, and at about age 30 began his ministry. Only at age 30 was he "Jesus Christ". About three years later he was crucified on a stake, (not a cross) and died and was buried in a tomb. While there his body was dissolved into gasses, and disappeared forever. The earthly JW Jesus Christ ceased to exist, but his "life force" was transferred somehow back to the Archangel Michael again in heaven.
A few days later Michael materialized a body, and appeared to the disciples. He made this "spirit body" look like Jesus so they would know he had been resurrected from the dead. Shortly after he returned back to heaven where he remained until he was supposed to return to earth in 1874.
When this date failed, Old Testament Biblical dates were invented by the JW's, and it was figured out it was really to be sometime before 1914 for his actual return. When Christ failed to show up on their date, it was adjusted to sometime after 1914. Not wanting to admit they were false prophets, they got "new light" that Christ had returned "invisibly" in 1914. During this time the leadership claimed to be getting revelations from God via angels. and all the time they claimed their organization was the only true religion on earth directed by God.
Somehow the President of the organization, now Judge Rutherford, was getting more messages at the same time. In 1929 he wrote a book called "Prophecy" and on page 65 he claimed he had "absolute scriptural proof" that Christ had really come back in 1874. This book was faithfully sold to the public until about 1953. By then 1874 had been trashed and replaced with 1914.
Today, every JW overlooking all this confusion, will claim Christ returned invisibly in 1914, and is supposed to come again at the time of Armageddon. Just recently they also stopped teaching Christ would come within one generation of 1914. Time ran out on them again.
This biblical event of Armageddon has been proclaimed by this non-prophet group to occur in 1874, 1879, 1914, 1925, the 1940s, 1975, 2000, and now, "any day". (2005) see this article. "The last Generation" This group, who claims to be speaking for God as His only mouthpiece on earth, has indeed a very poor record. The Bible calls such ones "false prophets".
What is their hope for the future? Ask any JW today and they will tell you Armageddon could come any day now, and if you are not a member of their organization you will not have any hope of surviving. All non-JW's will be annihilated, zapped into non- existence. For those who have obeyed every rule of the organization, put in lots of time in the door-to-door work, promoted their books, solicited donations, and attended five weekly meetings--they just may survive armageddon into a demolished world.
If so, it will be their job to clean up all the rubble left, bury the dead (almost 6 billion corpses) repopulate the world, and obey the rules set out by the 144,000 JWs who were good enough to really get to heaven. At the same time they must preach the WT gospel to all who never heard the WT message before armageddon who will be resurrected (re-created from Jehovah's memory) during a 1000-year period. Any rebellion to these leaders, or anyone failing to accept the WT message during this time, will result in their being immediately annihilated.
At the end of this 1000-year period, JW's believe Satan will be let loose and will deceive many, who will also be destroyed utterly. Those JW's who survive the 1000- year period will enter "eternity", but will still be subject to all these rules. They will never have "eternal life" as any rebellion will result in a zap, and everlasting destruction.
If you think this is a strange and peculiar "gospel". you are right. Anyone with even limited knowledge of the Christian faith will recognize this is NOT the Bible message.
Jehovah's Witnesses have the wrong Jesus Christ, and a wrong view of salvation, and a wrong view of death and the resurrection.
Next time you are talking to a JW ask him what his hope really is. Explain the above to him, and try to get him to admit that this is the hope presented by the WT organization. Most have never looked at the whole picture all at once and seen it as it really is, slavery for all eternity to the Watchtower organization. Remind him that if he has the wrong Jesus Christ, then he is wrong for all eternity. Share your own testimony of a relationship with a loving Savior and what Christ means to you.